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Out of Palermo

Court rules Salvini stand trial for kidnapping migrants

From the Guardian:

Italy's deputy prime minister and interior minister, Matteo Salvini, is one step away from facing trial after a surprise court ruling today determined that he be tried for kidnapping.

In August, prosecutors in Agrigento, Sicily, placed Salvini, who is leader of the far-right party the League, under investigation for the alleged kidnapping and detention of 177 migrants whom he prevented from disembarking the Italian coastguard ship Ubaldo Diciotti.

The ship had been docked for six days at the Sicilian port of Catania as Salvini maintained a standoff with the EU in an attempt to push other member states to take in the migrants. The Catholic church, Ireland and Albania, which is not an EU state, eventually agreed to host the mostly Eritrean migrants.

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The Golden Door

In the face of right-wing, racist  politicians who now rule Italy......

The door to Palazzo delle Aquile is covered with gold -- gold thermal blankets handed out to immigrants who are rescued from the sea. Palermo Mayor Leoluca Orlando says: "We are reminding everyone that we are engaged in defending the only race that exists: the human race."




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Palermo Manifesta: art on immigrants

From the NY Times:

By Kimberly Bradley

June 22, 2018

PALERMO, Sicily — Political art and world politics seldom dovetail in real time, but as the twelfth edition of the Manifesta contemporary art biennial approached, its host city of Palermo found itself walking its talk.

Titled “A Planetary Garden: Cultivating Coexistence,” the exhibition, which opened June 16, takes migration as one of its themes. And days before the international art crowd descended on the Sicilian capital, Italy’s new interior minister, Matteo Salvini, closed the country’s ports to rescue boats — including the Aquarius, a ship looking to dock in Italy with 629 migrants aboard. Read More 
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Danish cargoship with 100 migrants

A Danish cargo ship carrying a hundred rescued African migrants waits five miles off shore near Pozzallo for orders as to what to do. The migrants were rescued off the Libyan shore by a non-profit rescue boat and transferred to the Danish cargo ship.
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Immigrants drown on way to Sicily


From today's La Repubblica:
A large boat with 90 people aboard flipped off the coast of Libya today. It is feared they all died. Most were Pakistanis. The year is young but has already seen 246 dead, almost all headed to Italy.
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saved, they sing



The African immigrants broke into song aboard a rubber dinghy that rescued them from their unsafe craft in the strait of Sicily and brought them to the NGO immigrant rescue ship Open Arms on Jan 29, 2018
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Italian Coast Guard films harrowing rescue. 8 died.

From The Guardian 7 Jan. 2018
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320 rescued immigrants arrived Pozzallo today aboard NGO SS Aquarius

From today's La Repubblica Palermo edition;
The NGO ship Aquarius pulled into Pozzallo, Sicily's port today with 320 migrants aboard, among them many women and numerous children. They had all been rescued from the Mediterranean in the previous days. Weather conditions at sea were harsh, the newspaper reported.
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on the road

A documentary from The Guardian



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Rescue ship Aquarius lands 606 shipwrecked immigrants at palermo, "city of welcome."

From Palermo Today:
Of the 606 migrants, 241 were children, 120 of those children came unaccompanied.
The shipwrecked migrants were rescued in seven operations in less than 36 hours. On board the Franco-Italian-German rescue ship were 11 pregnant women, two of whom were in their ninth month. There was also a week-old infant.
"The extremely high numbers of minors," said Palermo Mayor Leoluca Orlando, "is the confirmation of a human drama without pause and without Europe feeling shame. Today we found ourselves before a dramatic choice made by members of the families of these minors put in the hands of the merchants of death with the hope of getting them to Europe, which, however, continues to ignore this drama, staining themselves with criminal behavior that produces and feeds criminal organizations. We here in Palermo are quite different from all that and the city with its organization and its institutions make it the "Capital of Welcome." Read More 
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